YARMOUTH — High school student Jonathan “Yoni” Blumberg is one of 104 students from around the country who will participate in the 47th annual U.S. Senate Youth program in Washington D.C. in March.
Blumberg, a senior who has applied to nearly a dozen colleges, said he is excited to participate in the program, which accepts two students from each state.
Blumberg is in his first year in student government as a member of the extracurricular and technology committee, and participates in Interact (the high school branch of the Rotary Club) and the school newspaper.
“I took the application test and follow current politics, but I didn’t think I would be selected,” he said. “From the beginning of the selection process, I was really impressed by everyone.”
Blumberg said he is interested in politics, economics, history and international relations, but has a passion for the creative arts and design technology as well.
“I am excited to become a life-long learner,” he said. “I want to be involved and have an impact. I am excited to make a difference.”
He said he was able to vote in a presidential caucus at age 17, and made the cutoff to vote in the 2008 presidential election. He will also attend the presidential inauguration Jan. 20.
“I’ve grown up with Bush from age 10 to 18, and am so excited to see Obama as our president,” he said.
Principal Ted Hall said Blumberg is a terrific student.
“He is incredibly curious,” Hall said. “He is an interested learner,
and asks questions all the time. This program is right up his alley.”
The U.S. Senate Youth program was established in 1962 as a way to educate high school juniors and seniors about the branches of government and the importance of the decisions made by elected and appointed officials.
Students spend time in the nation’s capitol observing legislation, meeting with Senate leadership, a justice of the Supreme Court, officials from the Departments of State and Defense and a foreign ambassador to the United States.
Blumberg and Ryan Gavin, the student delegate from Biddeford, are
the Maine representatives who will spend March 7-14 in Washington, D.C.
The students will have the opportunity to ask questions and witness each branch of government in action.
Blumberg and the others will receive a $5,000 scholarship to toward undergraduate studies with the encouragement to study government or history.
“I am not sure what I will pursue in college, but I would like to have some role in public policy,” he said. “I would also like to use technology to get information to people so they can be more informed.”
Blumberg said he credits the way he was raised to his interest in current events.
“I am interested in charity and social justice and find it important to give back,” he said. “There are a lot of ways to be involved in important issues.”
Yoni Blumberg, a senior at Yarmouth High School, is one of two Maine students chosen to participate in the student Senate program. They will spend a week in Washington D.C. observing federal government in action.